COMMENTARY: In all likelihood, May 6 was indeed a day fit for a king

By Berl Falbaum

As is my habit when I get up in the morning, I turned on the TV to watch the weather forecast.

When I did so last Saturday, the channel I had on was broadcasting the coronation of Charles III. I switched channels. Coronation. I switched again.


I already did not like the new king.

While I am not a fan of this kind of pomp and circumstance, I decided to watch for a few minutes. Yeah, I know it’s history.

I finally agreed with Donald Trump on something. This whole thing was “rigged.” There were no other candidates for king.

The first thing that hit me was that Charles did not look very happy. When the camera focused on his face, he had a pained, sad, blank expression, like, “I’m tired. I want to go to bed. This sword is sure heavy. And the crown is hurting my neck muscles.”

He looked like he would rather have been a guest than sitting on the thrown. Perhaps he was thinking about what Shakespeare’s Henry IV said: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” Or perhaps better yet, a line that the late U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn was fond of repeating: “No matter how high the throne, there sits but an ass.”

Whatever the sentiment, the May 6 coronation reminded me of my bar mitzvah. No, my bar mitzvah was not that elaborate. Sure, I was scared but I think I smiled occasionally. Charles did not.

But Camilla did. She even dared to fix strands of hair when they crowned her queen. This was not in the script. Charles did not deviate from the plan. At one point, I thought he started to scratch his nose, but quickly stopped. I assume he did not want to be remembered as the king who scratched his nose at his coronation.

I think Camilla smiled because she was going to remind Charles that this was Saturday and he had to take out the garbage when they got home.

The crown set on Charles’ head has a history as long as one of Shakespeare’s plays. The yamaka I wore at my bar mitzvah came from a bin at the door of the synagogue.

I wondered, if you’re a guest, what kind of gift do you offer a newly crowned king. Could eBay help?

I thought about all the rehearsals. Given all the minute details, I assume they practiced for months.

The rehearsal for my wedding took about a half-hour. The rabbi, who must have had another appointment, quickly told us when to walk down the aisle, not to stop and shake hands or kiss anyone as we approach the altar, and just let him do his job.

The day of the wedding, I remember asking my prospective wife as her father gave her to me, if what she was wearing was “a new dress.” For a minute, I thought I recognized a look on her face which asked, “Am I doing the right thing?”

As I watched the coronation, I wondered who came up with all the minute details involved in crowning a new king.

For instance, why did Charles, at one point, have to wear one glove on his right hand but none on his left? Or, why was a sword passed around to 102 people before it was handed to Charles. If they had just given him the sword directly, they could have saved a half-hour and I might have been able to get my weather report.

Along the way, I hoped somewhat facetiously that Charles would reach under the cape he was wearing, take out a smart phone, telling the two clergymen at his side, “Sorry, but I have to take this.” With his phone out, he might have taken some selfies. This, after all, was a big occasion.

I also tried to focus on the guests but it was difficult to recognize anyone. I wondered, for instance, if Oprah was invited. You may recall, she attended Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle. But then she did “the interview.” I am guessing Oprah will have to wait for the next coronation.

As to Prince Harry, he attended but not Meghan. You might have read about friction in the royal family. The cover story for Meghan’s absence was that she couldn’t find a babysitter for Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. I wondered whether Meghan watched the ceremony or searched for a weather report.

I learned that First Lady Jill Biden attended (Joe did not) but was seated in the back row in Westminster Abbey. The British got their revenge for the 13 colonies leaving the mother country. Finally!

In developing our wedding invitation list, my fiancée and I had lots of spats. I also wanted to invite just a husband or wife of a couple, but my soon-to-be wife insisted that would not be proper.

“So, let’s ban both,” I offered gleefully. She patted me gently on the head, implying, “You’ll learn.”

After about a half-hour, I had enough. I turned off the TV, looked out the window and discovered it would be a sunny day in the 60s.
Berl Falbaum is a veteran political columnist and author of 12 books.